Emotional tool-kit: How to deal with emotional overwhelm

Emotional tool-kit: How to deal with emotional overwhelm

Welcome to the Walk Different Emotional Tool-Kit! On the blog we’re going to be sharing expert tools and techniques to help you deal with life’s curveballs, and we’re starting with something everyone can relate to: emotional overwhelm. It’s that storm of distress that often kicks in when life takes one of its nasty turns, like a confrontation with a loved one or a rejection you didn’t see coming. These feelings are uncomfortable and all consuming, and it can be hard to know how to deal. Trying some of these strategies might help…

Observe your emotions

When you’re in the midst of an emotional meltdown, sit back and watch the show. By that we mean, don’t try to bury your feelings or force yourself to be happy, just observe and accept what’s going on for you. Notice the thoughts that spring into your mind without getting too attached to them. You could even try labelling your emotions: “I feel angry”, for example, or “I feel really sad”. Writing in a journal can help too. Think of how you’re feeling as a storm and know that it will pass.

Find some perspective

If you find your thoughts spiralling out of control, try using perspective to stop yourself freaking out. Ask yourself, will this matter in a few weeks, a few months, or a year? What’s the worst that could happen, and if it did occur, how would you handle it? Challenging your catastrophic ideas can help bring you back to reality.

Wait for it

You might be angry, hurt and upset, but now isn’t the time to take action. Wait for the storm to pass before you make any big decisions or react to what’s happened. That might mean stepping back from an argument until you’re calm, or keeping that email in the drafts folder. Give yourself the time and space to make a considered decision.

Be kind to you

While you’re waiting, practice some self-care. Now is the perfect time to reach for the things that soothe you, whether it’s reading a favourite book, taking a walk with a podcast or listening to some chilled-out tunes. Not only will it take your mind off those relentless, looping thoughts, it’s a gentle note to self that you’re worthy of compassion and kindness.

If you’d like help with managing your emotions, take a walk with one of our psychologists.

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